Surgery to DNA bank: Kashmir all set to have first of its kind ‘wildlife hospital’

June 20, 2020
File photo: Dachigam National Park

Srinagar: For the first time, Kashmir is set to have a state-of-the-art hospital for wild animals.

Department of Wildlife is coming up with high-end Wildlife Health Care Centre at Dachigam National Park to provide medical aid to rescued and critically injured animals.

The healthcare centre forms an important component of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA), which was launched in 2006 to divert forest land for non-forest activity.

It aims to provide medical aid to rescued and critically injured animals in Dachigam National Park, which covers an area of 141 square kilometres. The Park is famous for its unique and diverse wildlife including critically endangered Hangul.

Built at an estimated cost of at Rs 1 crore, the project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Wildlife Warden Central, Altaf Hussain said the healthcare centre will benefit the animals to a great extent.

“Usually, the rescued or injured animals are taken to Shohama veterinary facility in Central Kashmir. With this centre in place, we will have an advanced secondary and tertiary care facility available in the park itself,” he said.

Wildlife department is currently busy in procuring equipment for the hospital.

“We are procuring the equipment from GeM (Government e-Market Place). Nearly 60 percent of the equipment has already been purchased,” he said.

Veterinarian, Department of Wildlife Protection, Srinagar, Dr Umar Nazir pointed out that this will be the first high-end wild animal care cum diagnostic centre in the valley.

“Interestingly, the centre will also cater to the research aspect by serving as a DNA bank, which will help in forensics and allied activities of conservation projects. In other words, it will act as a lifetime repository and cover all the species,” he said.

The healthcare centre will have a slew of facilities including diagnostic laboratory, surgical theatre, radiology section, molecular diagnostic section, and others.

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Hirra Azmat

When the world fails to make sense, Hirra Azmat seeks solace in words. Both worlds, literary and the physical lend color to her journalism.

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